TRIP LENGTH:13 Days
SEASONS: March to May & September to November
Day 1: Arrive Paro
During the journey, one will experience breath-taking view of Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga and other famous Himalayan peaks, including the sacred Jumolhari and Mount Jichu Drake in Bhutan. On arrival at Paro International Airport, you will be received by representatives of AGT and escort you to the Hotel.
Day 2: Paro
Drive to Drukgyal Dzong, a ruined fortress which is 16 km away from Paro Town. Although in ruins, this Dzong is of great historical importance. It was here that the Bhutanese finally defeated the invading Tibetans and drove them back. From here, the peak of Jumolhari ‘Mountain of the Goddess’ can be seen on a clear day (Alt. 7,329 m /24,029 ft.). After lunch visit Rinpung Dzong, National Museum and Kichu Lhakhang. Kichu Lhakhang is the oldest and the most sacred shrine of Bhutan built in 8th century by the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo. In the evening take a leisurely stroll in Paro town. Overnight in Hotel.
Day 3: Paro-Thimphu
This morning drive along the winding road along the Paro Chu (Chu means water or river) down stream to the confluence with the Wang Chu and then then turn upstream and travel along the Wang Chu to Thimphu, the Capital. Lunch will be served at the Hotel. In the afternoon, visit the Memorial Chorten, dedicated to the Late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk. Overnight in Hotel.
Day 4: Thimphu
Visit Tashichho Dzong, the main Government Secretariat building, where the government ministries, the Office of His Majesty the King and the Throne Room, the offices and living quarters of the monk body and the Chief Abbot are housed. Wander in the town, visit shops and the Handicrafts Emporium, where Bhutanese textiles and other handicrafts are available. Visit the painting and woodcrafts schools where traditional painting and other arts are kept alive. Visit the National Library and see the ancient manuscripts preserved there. Visit the Simtokha Dzong (6 km from Thimphu), the oldest Dzong in Bhutan built by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1629 A.D. Evening: Relax in the hotel or stroll in the town.
Day 5: Thimphu-Trongsa
The journey to central Bhutan begins today. The drive to Trongsa takes about 7 - 8 hours from Thimphu. Packed lunch will be served on the at Chendebji Chorten. Overnight at Hotel in Trongsa.
Day 6: Trongsa-Bumthang
Drive to Jakar, which takes about 2 1/2 hours from Trongsa, is a pleasant drive through scenic forests and countryside. You also cross one of the highest passes named Yotongla (Alt. 17,000 ft.) along the East - West Highway on this drive. Bumthang is a land of mysteries and mystics and tales of the great Guru Padmasambhava who performed formidable feats and miracles in historical time in this place still hold sway. A beautiful sighting of Jakar Dzong (Castle of the White Bird) can be had from View Point. Lunch will be served in Hotel. Afternoon, a hike up to Lame Goenpa, a temple built by the First King of Bhutan for his two nun sisters. Outside Lame Goenpa one can see a workshop for traditional Bhutanese papermaking. Overnight at the hotel in Bumthang.
Day 7: Bumthang
Visit the Dairy Farm, Swiss cheese Factory and Apple Juice Factory. Walk around Bumthang valley in preparation for the excursion to Ngang Lhakhang.
Day 8: Bumthang-Ngang Lhakhang
(Distance - 20 km, about 5 - 6 hours journey. Altitude of Ngang Lhakhang 9500ft.)
The route follows the Chamkhar Chu, a river known for trout. Stop for lunch at Thangbi Lhakhang. From here the trek enters the Ngang Yul (Land of the Swan) at the centre of which lies the Ngang Lhakhang (Swan Temple). In by-gone days, the valley was populated by swans, and hence the name Ngang Yul. Overnight halt in camp.
Day 9: Ngang Lhakhang-UgyenChholing
(Distance 23 km. About 7 - 8 hours journey. Altitude of Ugyenchholing is 9300 ft.)
The trek starts with a gradual climb to Phephe La Pass at an altitude of 3353 m, the highest point of the trek route. The trail passes through beautiful forested areas where many stops can be made to enjoy the natural beauty of the place. Along the way, the Ugyenchholing Palace can be seen. Overnight at the camp.
Day 10: Ugyenchholing-Jakar
(Distance 10 km. About 2 - 3 hours journey. Altitude 9000ft.)
The trail follows the Tang Chu, another trout-filled river. On the bank of the river is the Tang Rimpoche's Lhakhang. The trek will pass the Mebar Tsho (Flaming Lake). From Pangshing, the group will be picked up by transport and driven to Jakar. Overnight halt in Wangdichholing Lodge.
Day 11: Jakar-Trongsa
Drive to Trongsa along the East - West Highway. Stops can be made along the way to enjoy the scenery. Lunch at Hotel in Trongsa. Afternoon, leisurely stroll around Trongsa town. Overnight in Hotel.
Day 12: Trongsa-Thimphu
Drive back to Thimphu along the East - West Highway. Picnic lunch will be arranged at Wangdue Guest House. Overnight halt in Hotel in Thimphu.
Day 13: Departure
Drive to Paro International Airport. See off by representatives of AGT.